Bond Clinic shut out of computer systems, patients concerned

Polk County

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (WFLA) – Bond Clinic is investigating what caused its staff to lose access to most of its computer systems this week, while reassuring patients their information is safe.

“We are confident at this time with all the investigation that’s happened that nothing has been compromised,” marketing director Ashley Scanlan said.

The Bond Clinic, a multi-specialty medical group, serves tens of thousands of patients at nine locations throughout Polk County.

The IT department noticed the technology issues early in the week.

Staff has been unable to access emails, scheduling and other internet services all week.

“We are still in investigation period. Our team is working really hard. We’re working with a third party at this point. We don’t really know the extent but as soon as have information, we are going to share that freely,” Scanlan said.

Some services and appointments were canceled.

Urgent Care and the COVID-19 vaccination site it hosts for the Department of Health in Polk County remain open.

“Do you believe it’s ransomware?” asked 8 On Your Side’s Staci DaSilva.

“That’s the question of the day. We understand patient’s concern of that. We do not know. But what we do know is that all of our patient information is safe at this time,” Scanlan said.

“Something’s been compromised when they can’t even get in and tell you when you have an appointment,” said Bob Krause, a patient who lives in Winter Haven.

Krause showed up for lab work on Tuesday and learned the lab was closed.

“They took my name down and hand wrote when I had an appointment and said they’d call us back,” he said.

After days of silence, he called 8 On Your Side.

“That’s why I called you guys and just gave you the hint that you might want to check the Bond Clinic and see what’s going on,” he said.

Despite assurances that his information is safe, Krause is worried.

“It’s all frightening because they love to get into medical records. They can also use that to get into other things, maybe even your bank account,” he said.

Bond Clinic posted a statement on its website Friday.

“We are working diligently with third-party specialists and our trusted vendors to investigate the source of this disruption, confirm its impact on our systems, and to restore full functionality as soon as possible,” it reads in part.

8 On Your Side reached out to Winter Haven Police Department and the city of Winter Haven.

Neither entity was aware of the case.

The FBI, which monitors and investigates ransomware attacks, told us it does not confirm or deny the existence of an investigation.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

April 24 2021 08:00 am

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